“Don’t forget the napkins for table 5 this time Steve, we don’t need another report about our ineptitude.”
Steve rolled his eyes and shook his head. If he did glance over the items on the platter to make sure the two object were indeed there, he figured no one would be the wiser, “You forget something one time and everyone always needs to remind you after that.” he mumbled loudly, intending for his best friend to hear. Steve and Bucky had been working at the restaurant for a few years now. It was on Steve’s first week that the dreaded napkin incident happened and now that he and Bucky were senior servers, the other felt the need to point it out to the newbies all of the time.
Bucky just chuckled along with the other servers, “Uh huh, go set up the table, Stevie, it’s a reservation by one of our favorites so it better be spotless!” Bucky said in his faux pleasant voice.
Steve inwardly cursed his luck and went to set up the table. One of their favorites meant it was a problem customer. One that felt nothing ever went right and always talked down to the staff just to impress their date for the evening. Something about high class snobbery apparently really gets people going.
Steve couldn’t see how that worked and refused to make sense of it.
He had just lit the candles when he spotted the hostess bringing the two people to his table. She had an apologetic look on her face for a second before schooling it and smoothly seating the two and handing the menus over, “This is Steve he will be serving you today, I hope you have a pleasant evening.”
Their favorite customer replied to that statement as if the two workers weren’t even there. He leaned over and said perfectly clearly, “I hope so too.” in a scathing tone to his date.
Steve didn’t bother to watch the reaction of the other gentleman and immediately started his duties asking about drinks and if they would want to hear any specials. He was cut off with a brisk, “We can read thank you, just do your job.” and took it as a chance to retreat to the back of house.
The little grouping of servers were hovering, probably waiting for him to talk about it. Instead, Steve gave them all a look and started to prepare the drinks and add them to the tab. He was halfway done when Bucky clapped him on his back.
“I swear, he gets more prissy every time he comes in here.” He said plugging in his own orders for his tables, “Is that even possible?”
Steve just shook his head, “It only lasts two hours at most, just grin and bear it.” He poured the drinks and set them on the platter, “Besides, it’s not like you’re serving them.” He said putting on his fake smile. Bucky returned it, which made him actually laugh quietly.
Steve set the drinks down and took out his pad, “Were you two ready to order?” He saw the man heave a breath and tap his finger on the table. Steve got ready for the comment, knowing what it would be.
“Considering how much time you gave us to look over the menu, I would think so.” He took a drink from the glass in front of him and sighed again, “That’ll do, I suppose.” He reached forward to take the other’s hand, “I am terribly sorry for this service, this man must be new here.”
Steve chose not to bristle at that and instead turned to the other and blinked. From working in the food industry he could spot a fake smile in a second. It was just something that came the more he worked. The smile that this person was giving the other was not real in the slightest. Steve felt as if his night was going to be the best simply knowing that this man was not going to score tonight.
And then those brown eyes turned to him.
Steve faltered a small bit before clearing his throat and smiling a real smile, “What can I get for you?” He spotted a hint of mischief that he had familiarity with from being friends with Bucky and Clint for so long that he couldn’t help the feeling of slight (albeit excited) dread that rested in his stomach. He also couldn’t help the way he dropped his pen when the next words out of the man’s mouth (had he mentioned that facial hair, like damn.) were:
“I’d like an order of muscles with a side of those beautiful baby blue eyes.”
The three of them were thrown into a quiet shock and Steve almost was relieved when the other man spoke if only for the chance to get his thoughts together. Since the restaurant actually did serve muscles, Steve thought the man was seriously ordering before he got to the second part.
“Come on Tony, I love your sense of humor but that joke was a little tasteless.” It was said in the same condescending manner when he had first dismissed Steve which made the server a bit more angry than he should have been, but before he could say anything, the other pipped up again.
“Listen, Ty, this isn’t going to work out so I’m not going to waste my time.” Tony dug into his pants pocket and took out his wallet, “This is for you,” He handed the stunned Steve two hundred dollar bills along with a card that had the name ‘Tony Stark’ and his phone number and email underneath that, “I was serious about the order by the way.” He had said squeezing Steve’s arm as he stood up from the booth. Tony turned back towards Ty and, after pocketing his wallet, he flipped him off with both of his hands as he walked away backwards, “And this is for you. Have a nice day Ty!” With that he turned and all but sauntered out of the restaurant.
Steve turned back towards the guest and watched as he more or less stormed out of the restaurant after (trying to) push Steve out of the way. Steve blinked again and wordlessly picked up the glasses and walked in stunned silence to the back.
There was no doubt that all of the servers had seen that and the quiet that greeted him was something to write home about. Bucky was trying not to crack up and that in turn made Steve start to laugh as well. He had a passing hope that Ty would be too embarrassed to come back ever again but dismissed it. People of his ilk were not easily deterred and this was one of the only nicer restaurants in town.
Bucky made a surprised noise and pointed out towards the booth, “Look who’s back, Casanova.” He commented with his own sly grin and pushed his friend lightly.
Steve willingly went towards the man who was standing and smirking at him, “That was amazing.” He couldn’t keep the smile from his face. Partly because the man was obviously proud of what he had done and because he came back.
Tony reached his hand out to shake Steve’s and shrugged, “He had it coming.” He glanced back to the door before meeting Steve’s eyes again, “Tony.”
Steve nodded and found that he couldn’t look away from the brown eyes, “Steve.” Their hands lingered for a few seconds before Steve pulled his away. His hand burned in a pleasant way where they had been connected and he could feel his face start to heat up slightly.
Tony’s eyes narrowed in on Steve's face and his smirk widened, “So when do you get off of work?”
Steve felt himself flush not only from embarrassment but also excitement. He fleetingly thought that this man would most likely be the death of him. And if not, maybe one of the best things that could happen on a work day.